A new $39-million recreation centre in Canmore isn’t even open yet but some town residents are already saying they won’t pay its steep user fees.
Workers are putting the finishing touches on Elevation Place, a 77-thousand square-foot facility that features a climbing centre, fitness amenities, a library and an aquatics centre with a 25-metre pool.
But many people who live in Canmore say the price of admission has been set far too high.
Drop-in fees are $15 dollars for an adult and $29 for a family. Monthly rates range from $24 for youth to $119 for a family, depending on the level of access purchased.
"I've nicknamed it Elephant Place. The town has gone beyond their means and it's turned around nipping them in the backside because they're having to overcompensate by elevating the prices," said Canmore resident Susan Allgrove-McCarty.
Canmore’s chief administrative officer, Lisa de Soto, said she has received many letters about the fees.
"We've heard what residents are saying and we want to address it," she said.
"We were surprised by that. We were focused on membership and selling the value of belonging to the facility. But in hindsight, it was a miss."
The town is looking at various solutions, including possibly dropping the fee for local residents, she said.